Posted by John Ester on Sep 12, 2017
Carol Kraak of the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is the founder of Joy2Ride Benzie, a 501(c)(3) that proposes to bring specially designed wheelchair bikes to the Betsie Valley Trail.
Carol explains that the Joy2Ride program will give those who are unable to ride a bike an opportunity to enjoy our Betsie Valley Trail.  The program will be patterned after programs currently operating in Nantucket, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine and Bloomington, Illinois.  These programs use battery-assisted Duet wheelchair bicycle tandems operated by trained volunteers.  Carol anticipates starting the program on the paved portion of the Betsie Valley Trail between Frankfort and Crystal Lake.  The program will be seasonal, operating approximately May through October (depending on the weather).
Joy2Ride is currently in the fund-raising mode.  Soon to follow will be the acquisition of equipment, the recruitment and training of volunteers, the purchase of insurance, etc.  The goal is to shape and facilitate this program into a reality by the Spring of 2018, hopefully with the support of both local Rotary Clubs along with others in our community.